OUR HISTORY

To us, a true Femme Fatale is someone who knows their self worth, who is empowered and self confident with their body and mind. They know what they want in life and go out and get it!

We know from experience that most of us don’t start out that way; it takes work to become the person we really want to be. Each one of us at Femme Fatale started out the same. We might all have different back stories but we all have one thing in common; We wanted personal empowerment and to love ourselves. We took the reigns of our lives and achieved it. It is now our turn to pay it forward and help you attain empowerment and love … to help you become your own Femme Fatale.

At the age of 26, founder Jacqueline Allen had spent years in corporate America and found herself gaining weight and losing self confidence by the day. Determined to do something about it, she left her corporate position and became certified in personal training and pole fitness. She took the time to create a quality program and business model that would allow women to try new forms of fitness while being in an empowering and supportive environment.

Soon after opening in 2008, Femme Fatale was featured as a front page story and she received over 400 emails in one day from women searching for the Femme Fatale experience! Femme Fatale Fitness grew into a much larger space and opened to the public May 27th 2009. Word spread like wildfire and Jacqueline went from training a handful weekly to hundreds a week!

From there, Jacqueline likes to describe the journey similar to that of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. At each step a new and important person would join Jacqueline, adding a special talent to the team. They started working toward the greater goal of empowering women and creating a community of Femme Fatales.  Through her journey, Ms. Allen met burlesque performer, Cassandra Guard. Ms. Guard brought an additional spark to the Femme Fatale team, and eventually, took over Femme Fatale Fitness.

After this change in ownership, Femme Fatale continued to gain recognition in the Greater Dayton area. The studio has relocated four times to allow for growth and expansion to meet the interests of the Dayton population.

In 2016, Cassandra was selected to give a Tedx Talk to share her secret to allowing women to be their true selves through burlesque. Watch the Talk here. Later that year, Femme Fatale Fitness was named Best of Dayton’s Number One Place to Get Your Adrenaline Pumping; a title they held consecutively for three years (2016, 2017, 2018). In 2017 and 2018, Femme Fatale Fitness was named Dayton’s Best Gym.

In 2018, Femme Fatale realized its demand for classes extended outside of women. After trialing several co-ed workshops and classes, Femme Fatale Fitness extended its welcome to all genders.

In 2020, COVID-19 prompted Femme Fatale to adjust it’s approach to teaching aerial, fitness, and dance. This new chapter of Femme Fatale now includes online classes and membership features with more freedom and flexibility.  At this time, Cassandra decided to pursue other opportunities in her career and chose to pass the studio on to new owners. She hand-picked these new owners to ensure that the Femme Fatale legacy would continue to grow into the future. 

In October of 2020, Claudia Scurlock-Ford, DesJaVae Conway, Kara Schmidt, and Stephanie VanHouten took ownership of Femme Fatale Fitness and rebranded as Femme Fatale Dayton.

Today, Femme Fatale Dayton continues to expand it’s horizons as staff and students perform all over the city. 2018 celebrated TEN YEARS of business!  There is no limit to what a Femme Fatale can do and achieve.